President's Message


Happy New Year!

Zak Pierce, LEED® AP, ASLA
President 2015-2016

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a great holiday season and was able to spend some quality time with family and friends.  For my first NCASLA President’s message, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself. 

I grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Yes, I am another Yankee who moved to the south!)  My passion for landscape architecture started on the residential scale by exploring my grandparent’s land as a young child.  They lived on the side of a mountain and had an amazing network of garden rooms on their property.  I vividly remember my grandmother identifying the immense variety of plants, playing in the woods, running along the garden paths, feeding the koi fish and observing the tadpole to frog transformation. Every season there was something new to explore. 

Years later, I started my own landscape contracting business.  I enjoyed being outside, rehabilitating neglected landscapes and creating new spaces.   The long, arduous and hot summer days of manual landscape labor would put any P90x or CrossFit workout to shame.  I knew I could not maintain that pace forever and had the itch to work in a much larger scale. 

This realization lead me to discover the major of Landscape Architecture.  It was a profession that blended my passion for art, the environment and my inquisitiveness of construction.  I was intrigued by the fact that the works of Landscape Architects simultaneously impact the lives of humans, plants and animals. 

I applied to three accredited schools and ended up attending The Pennsylvania State University.  I received an amazing education, became involved in the Student ASLA chapter and met the love of my life during those five years (the program was five years, I did not make it into a five year major!). During my super senior year (5th year), I took a road trip from Pennsylvania to Florida, down the east coast looking for jobs.  The stops were based on the projected future growth of the city and presence of a college that offered a Nursing Anesthesia program for my wife, Kirsten. 

The Triangle seemed to be the perfect fit.   I landed at CLH design in Cary.  Not too long after starting at CLH, Tim Maloney tapped my shoulder and brought me into the world of NCASLA.  I dove in head first, took initiative and got involved in every possible aspect of the society.  It turns out that the water IS fine and the professional development and leadership opportunities within NCASLA and ASLA are vast. 

I thoroughly enjoy the comradery of landscape architects and look forward to an active and thriving 2016!


Past Messages

December 2014- Message
June 2014-Message
March 2014-Message
February 2014-Message
January 2014-Message
November 2013 Message

March 2013 - Message
January 2013 - Message
October 2012 - Message
August 2012 - Message
July 2012 - Message
June 2012 - Message
May 2012 - Message